United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
RON BROTHERS, ET AL.
WARRIOR ENERGY SERVICES, CORPORATION D/B/A SPC RENTALS
MAURICE HICKS, Jr., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Warrior Energy Services, Corporation
d/b/a SPC Rentals' (“SPC Rentals”) Motion for
Partial Dismissal Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). See Record Document 4. Plaintiffs have
opposed the motion. See Record Document 8. For the
reasons set forth below, SPC Rentals' Motion for Partial
Dismissal Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) (Record Document 4) is
GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
Ron Brothers, Kalen Hein, Elijah Hill, Wesley A. Moore,
Willie E. Moore, III, Robert Matthew Oswalt, and Jason Woods
filed the instant civil action in 2016 against SPC Rentals
asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
(“FLSA”) and Louisiana law. See Record
Document 1. SPC Rentals is in the business of performing
labor and furnishing services and materials, machinery and
supplies in connection with oil and gas drilling, completion
and workover operations. See id. at ¶ 7. Under
the name Superior Pressure Control, SPC Rentals also provides
labor, services, and equipment for oil and gas well pressure
control. See id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiffs were
employed by SPC Rentals and assigned to the Minden, Louisiana
location. See id. at ¶ 1. Plaintiffs
operated oil and gas pressure control equipment and provided
labor to SPC Rentals' customers. See Id. at
¶ 10. More specifically, Plaintiffs operated machinery,
tools, and equipment - primarily well pressure control
equipment used in connection with oil and gas drilling, well
completion, and work over operations. See id. at
¶ 13. They set up, operated, and took down the equipment
used to maintain pressure control on oil and gas wells.
See id. at ¶ 14. Plaintiffs were either pump
operators or grease operators. See id. at ¶ 15.
were salaried. See id. at ¶¶ 25, 27-29. In
addition to salary, they were paid a day rate for each day
worked at a well site. See id. at ¶¶ 22,
28-29. Plaintiffs were assigned 12 hour-shifts, but allege
that they actually worked for a longer period of time each
shift. See id. at ¶¶ 18-19. Plaintiffs
allege that SPC Rentals knew that they “worked more
than 40 hours in a workweek at well site locations because it
regularly assigned [them] to work shifts of no less than 13
hours for 4 to 7 days a workweek.” Id. at
¶¶ 21, 23. Plaintiffs assert that SPC Rentals
labeled them as “supervisors” to avoid paying
overtime compensation. Id. at ¶ 25. Plaintiffs
maintain they were not supervisors. See id. at
upon the above facts, Plaintiffs assert FLSA claims for
failure to pay overtime. They also assert a “failure to
pay wages timely” claim under La. R.S. 23:633. This
Louisiana state law claim is based on SPC Rentals'
“failure to make timely payment of [Plaintiffs']
salaries and day rates.” Id. at ¶¶
of Plaintiffs were subjected to “unannounced en
masse” drug testing in July 2015. Id. at
¶¶ 50, 53. These Plaintiffs “were corralled
[with] approximately 40 employees in a room where [SPC
Rentals] collected the samples of the employees' hair,
urine and breath samples for substance abuse testing.”
Id. at ¶ 51. The drug testing was carried out
under the direct supervision of SPC Rentals' Safety
Director. See id. at ¶ 53. Plaintiffs allege
that “as a direct result of the manner in which the
Safety Director conducted the drug testing . . ., [they] were
defamed and suffered invasions of privacy.”
Id. at ¶ 57.
Rentals has now moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' Louisiana
state law claims. See Record Document 4. It is not
seeking dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims asserted pursuant
to the FLSA. See Record Document 4-1 at 5.
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard.
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief,
requiring that a pleading contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” The standard for the adequacy of complaints
under Rule 8(a)(2) changed from the old, more
plaintiff-friendly “no set of facts” standard to
a “plausibility” standard found in Bell
Atlantic v. Twombly and its progeny. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Under this standard,
“factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level ... on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555-556, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. If a pleading only contains
“labels and conclusions” and “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” the
pleading does not meet the standards of Rule 8(a)(2).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted).
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court generally
“may not go outside the pleadings.” Colle v.
Brazos County, Texas, 981 F.2d 237, 243 (5th Cir. 1993).
Courts must also accept all allegations in a complaint as
true. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949.
However, courts do not have to accept legal conclusions as
facts. See Id. Courts considering a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) are only obligated to allow those
complaints that are facially plausible under the
Iqbal and Twombly standard to survive such
a motion. See id. at 678-679, 129 S.Ct. at
1949-1950. If the complaint does not meet this standard, it
can be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. See id. Such a dismissal ends
the case “at the point of minimum expenditure of time
and money by the parties and the court.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558, 127 S.Ct. at 1966.
La. R.S. 23:633 Claim.
assert claims against SPC Rentals “for penalties and
damages arising from SPC Rentals' failure to make timely
payment of their salaries and day rates, as required by La.
R.S. 23:633.” Record Document 20 at ¶ 37.
Plaintiffs contend that SPC Rentals failed to pay base pay
timely - “the appropriate payments were delayed by
several weeks and sometimes by a month or more.”
Id. at ¶¶ 41, 43. Plaintiff did not plead
a tort claim for untimely wage payments.
outset, the Court holds that neither Section 633(A) not
633(B) grant a private right of action for
enforcement. “The amended act does not provide a
private right of action to employees but an employer who
violates [Section] 633(A) or (B) may be fined and, for
subsequent violations, subject to imprisonment.” Rick
J. Norman, Louisiana Practice Series, Louisiana Employment
Law § 4.22. Additionally, to the extent the Section 633
claims are based on the same allegations that form
Plaintiffs' FLSA claims, the claims are duplicative and
the FLSA preempts Louisiana state law. See Kidder v.
Statewide Transp., Inc., 2013-594 (La.App. 3 Cir.